Dorm Theater System

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by MarkSchepis, Aug 4, 2003.

  1. MarkSchepis

    MarkSchepis Auditioning

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    Hello, I'm brand new to this forum, even newer to home audio. Probably most of what I know, I learned by skimming this forum.

    I plan on setting up a moderately nice audio system for my dorm room using my computer, I lack a TV and stand-alone DVD player. I have a Creative SoundBlaster Audigy Platinum which looks to have all of the connections I'll need. I was looking at the Klipsch Promedia 5.1 and the Logitech Z-680.

    I have a number of questions:

    1. The Creative Audigy has Dolby Digital processing of it's own, is their optional DD-5.1 decoder then necessary for watching DVDs capable of Dolby Digital? The package is $499, while I can get just the speakers for about $270 brand new.

    2. Even if not necessary, would it be worth it for the DTS decoding? Or is that not worth the extra $199.

    3. Are the Z-680 the better choice? They have a built in decoder, and are far cheaper. I realize they have had a problem with hissing which looks to have been solved, but I have heard reports that the subwoofer included rattles.

    4. Am I better off using seperate pieces for my system, or is it best to use a system out of the box when revolving it around a computer?

    5. I saw something about shielding? What exactly is that? Should I be worried if my speakers/subwoofer are close to anything else? (i.e. Monitor, tower, each other?).

    I'd appreciate it very much if someone or someones were to point me in the right direction, or maybe offer another choice in the 5.1 market. As a college student this is a huge purchase for me, but I don't want to have to settle for a lesser quality system that may need replacing sooner than later.

    Thank you for any help offered in advance.

    EDIT: I added Question 4, and 5.
     
  2. Frank**F

    Frank**F Extra

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    I'm not familiar with the specific components you mention, but I've equipped a couple of desktop PCs with surround-sound systems.

    For speakers, focus only on packages sets. PC-quality audio, in a dorm room setting, a good set will be fine, whichever model you choose.

    In my experience, in a dorm-size room you'd have to crank the volume pretty darn high before you get rattling or other tone problems. Again, if you invest in high-quality speakers. A dorm room is going to get pretty loud pretty quickly.

    Does your PC have a TV-tuner card? With one of those and a DVD drive, you really could build an acceptable college-years dorm-room HT.

    If it were me, I'd get Dolby 5.1 and DTS decoding, even if I had to pay for an upgrade. If you're going to watch DVD movies, that seems to be fairly important.
     
  3. ChrisMcL

    ChrisMcL Extra

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    If most of what you comes from this forum, I recommend that you broaden your sources. Not that there's no useful information here, but here you'll find mostly the same point of view. Go ask your local computer and A/V store what they each recommend.
     
  4. MarkSchepis

    MarkSchepis Auditioning

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    Thanks for your help. I am going to go with the Z-680's. They have the decoding built-in already, and are $100+ cheaper than the Klipsch. I only hope I get a newer one with the hissing problem fixed, and as far as the subwoofer rattling, I have the feeling I'll get a noise complaint before I even get the chance to crank the volume that high.

    I have a DVD drive, a tv-tuner card would not prove to be too useful as there is no cable, the campus is wired, but for some reason they refuse to actually give us cable, I believe they just need to activate it.) and the antenna reception is not the best.

    My roommate and I have a very large wall that we don't really have anything for, except maybe posters, so we came up with the idea of purchasing a cheap projector from eBay and using that to watch movies, and play games (Madden 2003, mmm). The problem with this is the words: cheap, quality, and projector are hardly found in the same sentence, unless the sentence serves to negate it's existence, at least from what I've researched. I may be better off getting a used 27" HDTV from eBay, as I saw one for $499. Much cheaper than the $1,000-$8,000 projectors.
     

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